Top 10: Players of France 98

3. Davor Suker, Croatia

Croatia were a decent team, with a midfield of astonishing creativity, but what carried them to the semi-finals was the goals of Davor Suker. To call him just a poacher seems unfair, for he could drift wide and help link the play, but he was at his best in the box, sniffing out chances and then converting them with a tremendous range of finishes.

In France, he might not have scored any goals quite as good as the chip he'd sent sailing over Peter Schmeichel at Euro 96, but the quantity more than made up for it. A deflected shot – following a superb chest-and-volley - got him off the mark against Jamaica. He got the only goal against Japan, and hit the bar with a delicious lob.

Against Romania he twice converted the same penalty, having been made to retake it because of encroachment. Both times, he put his fingers to his neck, waiting for his pulse to fall to 120 before hitting the ball low to the keeper’s left. Against Germany in the quarters, he scored a rare goal with his right foot, and showed great cool again against France in the semis to slot home Aljosa Asanovic’s through ball. The winner in the 3rd-and-4th-place match confirmed the Golden Boot.


SHARES
comments